Poetic Reflections on These Times, On All Times

Poetic Reflections on These Times, On All Times

Readers are sending me poems, and I’m so grateful. Poetry re-opens our minds and hearts to the deep eternal truths of the human endeavor, and buoys us through the roughest of times. Here are three: one a classic, you may have memorized it in high school as I did, two written last week.

No Man Is An Island

No man is an island,
Entire of itself;
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were:
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were.

Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
– John Donne

Love in Action

When you go out and see the empty streets, the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms, don’t say to yourself, “It looks like the end of the world.”
What you’re seeing is love in action.
What you’re seeing in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other, for our grandparents, our parents, our brothers and sisters, for people we will never meet.
People will lose jobs over this. Some will lose their businesses. And some will lose their lives.
All the more reason to take a moment,
when you’re out on your walk,
or on your way to the store, or just watching the news, to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.
Let it fill you and sustain you.
It isn’t the end of the world.
It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness”.
– Belfast, Ireland COVID team

A Complicated Time!

A complicated time!
Prompting regrouping, reflection, and rhyme
News of the rising COVID-19 rate
Being told to go home and isolate
The transmission in the form of invisibility
Adding a confusing sense of fragility
Instead of March Madness,
We are facing March sadness
Instead of spring flings,
We are avoiding most things
Let’s aim to follow the facts, not the fear
Returning to things we hold dear
To focus on ways to effectively cope,
While also upholding resilience and hope
Figuring out ways to lean into wisdom and to grow
And sink into ways to pause, be still, to slow
– Sandra Wartski, Psy.D

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